One of the most feared predicaments of a first time mother is a long labor. The best way to avoid a long labor is to wait for nature to initiate labor on its own.
Naturally occurring or spontaneous labors are statistically much shorter than induced labors. When your baby and your body are fully ripe the body performs much more efficiently.
A soft ripe cervix opens without resistance. Contractions are powerful and progressive. Every part of the body works with a synergistic power to do the involuntary and instinctive work of labor.
Admittedly, I've only enjoyed one completely spontaneous labor. The others I buckled under the pregnancy emotions and pleaded with my provider to strip my membranes to initiate the labor process.
My spontaneous labor was two and a half hours from start to finish. The five labors induced by membrane separation took 12-48 hours. Labor contractions began slowly like a crock pot gradually building intensity. My first labor initiated with the use of an induction tool called Prepidil Gel. The C.N.M applied the Prepidil Gel at 10:00a.m. and my baby was born at 3:35a.m.
It is very typical for women to experience short labor under three hours in a naturally occurring labor. Regardless of whether your labor is long or short contractions are very good for your baby. They improve circulation and prepare your baby for respiration.
Even though you may feel big and weepy toward the end, remember that patience s a virtue. If you can wait it out the experience will be so much better for you and your baby. I promise pregnancy won't last forever!